ONS Attack #2

Most information is from Sudden Terror, Hunting a Psychopath, victims or their families, news articles, reports, or investigators.

This page is preliminary.

Basics

  • December 30th, 1979
  • Robert Offerman (44) and Alexandra Manning (35)
  • 767 Avenida Pequena, Goleta

Background

Dr. Manning was a clinical psychologist at a pain clinic. She was from Santa Maria.

At he time of their deaths, both Dr. Offerman and Dr. Manning were going through a divorce (not from each other, but getting divorced from other parties).

Dr. Manning's was scheduled to be finalized within hours of her murder.

Dr. Offerman's divorce was in the division of property phase when he was killed.

Possible real estate connection: There was a real estate property sale on November 30th, 1979 that Dr. Offerman and his soon-to-be ex-wife were both involved in.

Dr. Offerman was partners with a Dr. Mazzetti. They worked out of the Goleta Valley Community Hospital (in what they now call the Goleta office), located at 5333 Hollister Avenue, Goleta.

The couple had been intimate the night of the murder.

 

Pre-Attack Events

Fall, 1978

It's unknown if this is related to the East Area Rapist or not, but a prowler had been seen in the area of the murder twice before, both times in the Fall of 1978. The couple that lived on 5345 Vineyard Rd in Santa Barbara witnessed a prowler in their neighbor's backyard two times, both times while that family was on vacation. Both sightings occurred around 2:00 AM, and both times the man left by jumping a fence. They didn't get a good look at him, but he was dressed in dark clothing, a cap, and appeared to be about 6'.

December 28th, 1979

Dr. Offerman and Dr. Manning both attended a house party given by acquaintances of theirs, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Smith. The party was held at the Smith's home at 452 Toltec Way, and the guest list included doctors and lawyers (both of these professions are a common denominator in the murder series). The location is significant as well, since Toltec Way would be the site of one of the killer's last known murders a couple years after this killing.

December 29th, 1979 Between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM

Sometime between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM, a prowler attempted to pry open a door at 5419 Parejo Dr. The tool used was a round shank screwdriver. This address is notable because it's so close to Queen Anne Ln, the street where the couple escaped the killer's grasp a few months before.

December 29th, 1979 Between 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM

Also sometime that evening, probably a little bit after the attempt on Parejo Dr, someone broke into a home at 5422 Hannah Dr and burglarized it. The safe inside the home was forced open and cash was taken from it. Expensive jewelry was left behind, but a wedding band was stolen.

December 29th, 1979 6:10 PM

A family on Windsor Ct sees a woman, about 25 years old with shoulder length hair and dressed in dark clothing, standing at their neighbor's front door. They didn't recognize the woman.

December 29th, 1979 7:00 PM

Almost an hour later, a white male, about 5'8", is seen standing at the front door.

December 29th, 1979 7:30 PM

He's seen standing at the front door again.

December 29th, 1979 9:30 PM

A burglary occurred at 5470 Queen Anne Ln. The sliding glass door had been pried open. Some two-dollar bills were stolen, along with some jewelry. One of the jewelry items was a class ring from the 1946 class of the Merchant Marine with the initial HJH. The man of the house had an affiliation with the UCSB Department of Engineering. A piece of twine, matching the twine that would be later used in the murders, was found in the backyard.

December 29th, 1979 10:15 PM (One source says 11:15 PM)

A couple living on Windsor Ct returned home from the movies and as they approached the house, they saw someone running out of their living room towards the back of the house. They entered the residence and heard him jumping over their fence into the yard of the Mountain View School. Nothing had been taken from their residence, but their dog had been hit on the left side of its face and its eye was injured. The intruder was described as wearing a dark jacket and a fisherman-type hat. Shoe prints were found in their backyard and in the Mountain View School yard near the fence to this couple's property. The shoe prints matched shoe prints found at 767 and 769 Avenida Pequena. The couple worked as a teacher and an RN. (According to one source, this family's dog was a poodle and had actually been beaten to death).

December 29th, 1979 Night

A bike is stolen from a house on Avenida Pequena very near the Offerman's residence.

 

In these burglaries and prowling incidents, multiple side gates were found open at the residences and sliding glass doors had been pried in four out of five of them.

 

Timeline

December 30th, 1979 12:00 AM

A neighbor heard what she believed to be Dr. Offerman's Porsche pull into the common parking lot. She then heard two men's voices and a woman's voice. She recognized Dr. Offerman's voice but not the other two voices. This neighbor's bedroom window was very close to Offerman's front door and the witness was fairly sure there was another male voice.

December 30th, 1979 3:05 AM

A neighbor heard what he thought was a gunshot, then three more gunshots, then a pause, then a final gunshot. Several other neighbors hear these shots as well. This particular neighbor and his wife went upstairs to get a better view of the area and they tried to determine where the shots had come from. The looked around and didn't notice anything. The lights were off at Offerman's house, but they noticed that the sliding door was standing open. The screen inside was closed.

December 30th, 1979 3:17 AM

The same couple, a few minutes after trying to find the source of the gunshots, looked out a different window and saw a white, boxy car (similar in size to a Pinto or Honda) without lights slightly driving out of the common parking lot. These neighbors were the only witnesses to this event because out of all the neighbors who had heard the gunshots that night, they were the only ones who investigated. No one called the Sheriff's Department. This couple also had a son, and it was later learned that it was this young man's bicycle that had been stolen during the night.

The stolen bicycle was eventually located several blocks away.

 

The Murder Scene

Both victims were dead. Dr. Manning was found nude, laying face-down on the bed with her hands tied behind her back. There was a bullet wound to the back of her head.

Dr. Offerman was kneeling, with his head on the ground and his backside in the air. The sheets and a pillow were partially underneath him. He had one bullet wound in his upper chest and three in his back. There was a white twine around his left wrist.

The bindings used on the victims were short 1/16 diameter three-strand strings of white nylon twine. These short pieces of twine had been tied together by a series of complicated knots in order to make them long enough to use as a binding. Pieces of twine were found in several areas of the victim's residence. These bindings supposedly matched the nylon twine used at the October 1st, 1979 attack (though one account of that attack says that shoelaces were used).

There was no sign of extensive ransacking in the house, though there was some evidence that some of the drawers had been gone through, as well as some of the closets. All of the lights were off and the thermostat was off. There was a plastic bag containing turkey bones and the turkey carcass on the back patio, scraps of turkey near the door, and a turkey bone inside the residence close to the door.

There were three sliding glass doors in the residence, and all three had pry marks. The one leading into the living room had been pried so hard that the door jamb had come loose from the wall.

Tennis shoe impressions were found, and they were determined to be the star-shaped design of the Adidas Runner. They were found in the mud in the backyard, along with some dog paw prints. The tennis shoes matched the October 1st, 1979 aborted attack on Queen Anne Ln. The shoe prints were also found in a neighbor's yard, but no dog prints were found there. Neither Offerman nor this neighbor owned a dog.

Pieces of white twine were found in the backyard of the neighbor's residence, the one where the bicycle had been stolen.

Jewelry belonging to Manning was found stuffed down between the mattress and the bed frame.

The killer used a .38 caliber revolver (probably Smith and Wesson) loaded with Supervel brand, .38 caliber ammunition with 110 grain jacketed bullets.

Dr. Manning had not been sexually assaulted and despite rumors, neither had Dr. Offerman.

Manning's autopsy found two blue-green flakes on her big toe as well as some loose hairs on her back.

 

The Condo Next Door

Investigators discovered that the condo next door at 769 Avenida Pequena had also been entered. The condo was vacant and for sale at the time of the murders, but there was a woman (who was employed as an RN) in the process of moving in soon. There were pry marks on the wooden frame of the front door and on the sliding glass doors (particularly the one on the north side of the residence), and a window screen had been removed and thrown on top of an eight-foot tall hedge. Shoe impressions matching the Offerman/Manning scene were found below the window.

More twine was found in this residence. There was some on the floor in the residence, on the floor of the master bathroom, in a cabinet under the master bathroom sink, and on the mantle over the fireplace. The twine found on the mantle was slightly different than the others, being made of rayon instead of nylon.

 

The Dirt Trail

Two days later, some more evidence was found on the dirt trails/dry creek beds near the attack location. More pieces of twine, some shoe prints, and the prints of a medium/large dog similar to the crime scene were found alongside the shoe prints. One piece of twine was found on the east side of the roadway across from 825 North Kellogg, which is nearby. Another piece was found on a part of the trail that leads to a greenbelt area next to 866 North Kellogg. The prints passed Norma Ln and disappeared into the main creek area.

 

Official Theory

Investigators theorized that Offerman and Manning were asleep when they were attacked.

The speculated that the killer confronted them, and believing she was about the be robbed, Manning hid her jewelry. They thought that the killer had told Manning to tie Offerman, then tied Manning himself. Then Offerman freed himself and confronted the killer, who shot him once. After being shot, there's evidence that Offerman continued to go after the assailant, and so was shot again. Most of the investigators didn't feel that the murder was planned.

A few questions that they couldn't answer: did the killer eat the turkey AFTER he killed them? Did he enter the vacant condo first or did he break in after the murders to hide?

Later, they wondered if the crime was sexually-motivated and if the assailant had possibly peeped in on them having sex.

 

Post-Attack Events

Dr. Manning's ex-husband was on a skiing trip at Lake Tahoe the night she died. He underwent a polygraph examination and no discrepancies were found. He was completely eliminated.

Requests by Sacramento LE to get information about this homicide, and the aborted attack from October 1979, were denied until March, 1980.

 

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